Harvest Blog


Posted by alhcommunication

Harvest time is always a pretty dizzying time for anyone who works in the world of wine, it is the final stage of a process for which we prepare all year long, and it requires so much work in the vineyards, with the goal of getting impeccable fruit, harvesting early and all by hand, to get good ripeness and the right natural acidity in our grapes, in order to make expressive, textured wines.

We started the harvest with the Malbec grapes from our estate in Luján de Cuyo on February the 16th, while the harvest at our Jardín Altamira vineyard began on March the 2nd. We finished harvesting in the course of March itself, with clockwork logistics that granted us a seamless and connected work between our vineyards and winery teams.

Times of change on the horizon

The weather prior to harvest was variable, with cooler than usual periods alternating with periods of great heat. We had frosts in October that had an influence on the flowering. On the other hand, in December the milder temperatures created fantastic conditions for the grapes’ growth. January began with two weeks of extremely high temperatures followed by another two weeks with rain and much lower maximum temperatures. The team tasted the grapes daily to determine the optimum point of maturity, observing very good health conditions in all our vineyards.

Climate change is a reality that affects all the wine-producing regions of the world. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC (*)[1], the coming years offer a narrow window to achieve a sustainable and habitable future for all, and changing course requires immediate efforts. These experts warn that climate change is already causing widespread disruption in all regions of the world with 1.1ºC of warming. These are manifested through devastating droughts, extreme heat, and record floods.

This IPCC report highlights everyone’s vulnerability to the climate crisis. Our commitment to making our contribution toward slowing this trend began with our first organic certification in 2012, which we complemented with the “Sustainable Winery” certification last year. We are convinced that this is the way to go, so we put all our efforts into making “the best wines for the world”, as our winemaker Federico Gambetta says.

[1] The IPCC is an international body contributing to the United Nations, in charge of evaluating the scientific knowledge related to climate change.

Jardín Altamira, a future that is already present?

We are so excited about the grapes that this vineyard is giving us that we can barely contain our feelings! In each vintage, we see a remarkable quality growth in the wines.

Our expectations for 2022 are very high, the last cold days before harvesting kept the pH stable, allowing the grapes to reach their optimum ripeness point, with acidity at its best and great health. Despite the frosts that affected the area in October, we managed to obtain balanced yields in our vineyard, resulting in a vintage with very good natural concentration of our grapes.

In this harvest, we were able to clearly observe the differences between the different terroir units of the vineyard. From the moment the grapes from each one of them entered the winery, we carefully looked for the best way to vinify them individually, to highlight the typicity of each terroir unit.

This has been a great year for the vines planted on limestone soils, such as Jardin Altamira vineyard; a great year for fine textures in wines, such as those we issue from here.

The incomparable terroir of Gualtallary

Gualtallary features a unique combination of height (more than 1,300 meters above sea level) and soil type. There, the soil presents limestone-covered pebbles and gravels that occupy 50-70% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile.

The division of the vineyard into terroir units allowed us to be precise with the determination of the picking point in this harvest. It stopped raining at the best moment to favor a slower sugar curve and a fantastic organoleptic ripeness. The balance of sugars and acidity was perfect, it happened at just the right time. It was an excellent harvest, with large berries and great varietal and terroir expression. We are confident that our Malbec of this appellation will show great depth and finesse.

The Harvest, a personal experience

“A harvest that began suddenly. The Brix degrees were evolving calmly until, unexpectedly, they reached their ideal moment. We had to quickly react and start harvesting in our Lujan de Cuyo vineyard. And in those days, my second son was born.

The adrenaline was total. Love was all around, with the arrival of a new life and a new harvest.

As we were finishing in Luján, Altamira and Gualtallary appeared, but giving us a little break. The cold of the last few weeks before harvest gave the grapes the necessary time to finish ripening and balance all their compounds. It’s been a long time since we found such an exact and ideal picking point.

When grapes from these last two vineyards arrived at the winery, our routines were paralyzed for a week. Time didn’t seem to advance. Each grain was selected and processed with the highest level of possible detail. Every movement in the winery was carried out with extreme precision.

The 2022 harvest ended 1 month after the birth of my son. A month full of love, adrenaline, but above all, dreams.”

Federico Gambetta, Winemaker

“It has been a year with great concentrations, colors and health. This allowed the musts to ferment at the pace we like in our winery.

This is my third harvest with the team of ants. Little by little, we are finding the best way to make our wines, interpreting terroir and bringing to your glasses the expression of the wine’s origin, with excellence and finesse.

The team feels more and more assembled and that makes us excited and think big for everything to come.”

Ana Wiederhold, Winemaker

“We finished the 2022 season, an intense and challenging harvest for the whole team!

When the persistent rains gave us a break, we could demonstrate we were ready to carry out the long-awaited harvest in record time, always putting the quality of our grapes first.

This is why the product of our hard work excites us and makes us dream of the great wines to come.”

Juanjo Borgnia, Viticulturist

“This was a shorter harvest than others, but no less intense. The season began with heavy rains, which threatened to delay the harvest. However, the rains stopped and gave us a window, just in time, to harvest our fruit with optimum ripeness and health. Maturity was reached in both vineyards almost simultaneously, which meant very long days, with lots of planning, intensity and adrenaline.

The cold of the late October frosts may have been strong, but the warmth and energy of our team made the 2022 harvest possible, picking up quality grapes that promise to become great wines.”

Victoria Maselli, Viticulturist